The number of composite indices that are constructed and used internationally is growing very fast; but whilst the complexity of quantitative techniques has increased dramatically, the education and training in this area has been dragging and lagging behind. As a consequence, these simple numbers, expected to synthesize quite complex issues, are often presented to the public and used in the political debate without proper emphasis on their intrinsic limitations and correct interpretations.
In this course on global statistics, offered by the University of Geneva jointly with the ETH Zürich KOF, you will learn the general approach of constructing composite indices and some of resulting problems. We will discuss the technical properties, the internal structure (like aggregation, weighting, stability of time series), the primary data used and the variable selection methods. These concepts will be illustrated using a sample of the most popular composite indices. We will try to address not only statistical questions but also focus on the distinction between policy-, media- and paradigm-driven indicators.

Из урока

Welcome module

Welcome to the first module of this course. In this welcome module, you will be introduced with the Professors that will take part in this course on composites indices. We explain the rationale for composite indices (CIs) and show how they can be of interest. This course is open to NGO members, politicians, journalists, students and all persons interested in understanding, creating and/or interpreting CIs. By the end of this first module, you will have an overview of the content of the course week by week.